Bio

From Sacramento, California, Justin DeHart, a.k.a. doctor echo began mixing dub music in 1992, while playing drums in Sacramento’s live dub band, the Defendants. The Defendants included guitar guru Tyler Pope, Justin Vandervolgen on live mixing/guitar/misc, Jason Dudley on bass, and many other special guests. Initially recording on a Tascam 4-track that he received as a gift, he eventually acquired more gear to build a 1/2” 8-track studio. 

Soundlab Studio was born in 1996 when frequent noise complaints from neighbors forced him to relocate from his flat at 1406 F Street downtown to a commercial building across town at 1821 17th Street. Sacramento’s reggae/rocksteady group Steady Ups, as well as roommate and artist Craig “Lab Assistant” Oliveira, collaborated in building the new studio. The space was outfitted with rehearsal rooms as well as full recording facilities. Living and working at this studio, the doctor laid the foundation for many future mixes. 

After the 17th Street Studio, doctor echo moved further downtown into a 3000 sq. ft. old abandon clothing store called Joe’s Style Shop. He left the front marquee untouched and set up a recording studio once again with rehearsal rooms. The place was spacious enough to build a stage in the front room and host art and music shows. With the help of Harley White Jr. and other community members, they set up a non-profit organization to give free music lessons to children. 

The next few years found the doctor busy recording and producing projects, such as the Sacto Storytellers, Blackalicious, Filibuster, Frank Jordan, and the Original Heads. With the advent of an ADAT multi-track recorder, doctor echo began playing live shows mixing previously recorded dub rhythms, sometimes adding live instruments. 

In 2000, doctor echo travelled to South India to spend nine months studying the traditional drumming and collaborate with various artists. In 2002, he moved to Los Angeles to pursue a music degree at CalArts while continuing to mix dub music live and in the studio. The doctor launched Anicca Records in 2004 to release original dub music born out of the various projects he was involved with.  Solo albums, and projects involving the Defendants, Steady Ups, and the Sacto Storytellers were released in addition to embarking on new collaborations with CHLLNGR, ALU, Solange St. Croix and Spoek Mathambo. In 2010, the doctor completed a doctoral degree in music from UC San Diego and now resides in Christchurch, New Zealand.